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MSNBC
Aug 22, 2013 2:30am PDT
of the water gate scandal have been released. pete williams has more on the newly released tapes including a phone call from a supporter who would one day become president. >> reporter: in the spring of 1973, richard nixon is a president under siege facing daily revelations about his administration's role in the watergate scandal. >> this office is a sacred trust. >> reporter: after the speech and apparently after a few drinks, nixon talks with his friend halderman by phone. >> it's a tough thing, bob, for you and for john the rest, but damn it, i'm never going to discuss this thing again. never, never, never, never. >> reporter: california's governor ronald reagan phones in to offer support. >> we're still behind you out here and i wanted you to know that you're in our prayers. >> reporter: the tapes end july 12 when the system is publicly revealed. richard nixon hangs on 13 months more. >> thanks to pete williams for that. we have good news for beau biden. he may be on his way home. the white house said the delaware attorney general underwent a successful procedure, but they didn't provi
MSNBC
Aug 23, 2013 9:00am PDT
pete williams. pete, you talked recently about the march on washington. why don't you tell us about that. >> reporter: washington, d.c., in the summer of 1963 was more than a little nervous about the prospect of a big civil rights march coming to the city, and that worry extended from the president on down, a fear that if it went badly, it could derail the efforts to pass the nation's most important civil rights law. ♪ it's easy to see now why the march on washington is celebrated as a landmark in the civil rights movement. it helped to shape public opinion after decades of struggle, says todd perdom, author of a forth coming book about that period. >> i think it's probably the single most important public demonstration in america of any kind. >> reporter: america in 1963 was deeply segregated. something as simple as taking the bus meant separate waiting rooms for blacks. in the spring the nation had watched as police in birmingham, alabama, aimed fire hoses and set dogs on children who joined in the civil rights protests. when president john f. kennedy heard about the plan to mar
MSNBC
Aug 12, 2013 6:00am PDT
correspondent pete williams who is joining me. first, i want to ask you about that headline regarding the stop and frisk policy that goes against what mayor michael bloomberg had really been pushing in that city. >> the police commissioner, ray kelly, as well. i'm just looking at the decision it the judge says she finds that the police department carries out more stops where there are more black and hispanic residents, all other things being equal. she says the racial composition of these precincts. the blacks and hispanics are more likely to be stopped. and for all these various reasons, she find, it's disproportionate in minority communities, she finds this a violation of the fourth amendment. this will be -- i'm sure the still will appeal here -- what the city was arguing, and they've had lawsuits about this before, is that yes, generally speaking, police do need a search warrant. but there are exceptions made. for example, there's no search warrant when they look at your carry-on bag, to get on an airplane. when there's some overriding government policy concern, that's considered to be eno
MSNBC
Aug 13, 2013 10:00am PDT
challenge. pete williams joins us now. what should we expect in terms of the court ballotses between now and then? >> well, lawsuits are starting to mount up. two have been filed already. it is probably one of the strictest now voter i.d. laws in the nation. the governor who signed a bill late yesterday said it's necessary to review voter fraud. he said you have to use a voter i.d. or i.d. card to get on an airplane or buy sudafed at the drugstore. why shouldn't it be used as well for preserves the important of -- but there's more to this law. it also cuts a week off the ary voting period in north carolina, from 17 days down to ten days. it sends same-day voters register. it ends a program in which underage voters could preregister and be ready to vote by the time they turned 18. so among the lawsuits is one that says this all tends to discriminate against african-americans. for example, it notes that 70% of after kaj americans voted early, compared to 52% of whites. it says that african-americans are much more likely to use same-day registration, because they tend to move more than whit
NBC
Jul 31, 2013 5:30pm PDT
. it is where we begin tonight with our justice correspondent pete williams. he's at washington national. pete, good evening. >> reporter: brian, good evening. the number two official of the tsa acknowledged today that it has its share of what he calls knuckle heads. the issues, are they disciplined consistently and do the worst offenders get the harshest punishment? example, says the government accountability office, an airport screener caught on surveillance video, running carry-ons through a metal detector without stopping to review each image, suspended 30 days. at another airport, a screener walks away to help a family member at the ticket counter, then takes the family carry-on and bypasses screening, suspended 7 days. and the gao told congress today that half the screeners who fall asleep on the job receive less than even a minimum level of discipline called for by tsa's own policies. >> rather than punishing the employees using standard penalties, tsa chose to go easy on those who find it hard to stay awake while protecting the american people. >> reporter: the report says misconduct c
NBC
Aug 1, 2013 5:30pm PDT
correspondent pete williams watching all of it also in our d.c. newsroom. pete, good evening. >> brian, good evening. >> reporter: american officials say this is in response to al qaeda-related intelligence from the middle east that was specific about a period of time, and mentioning an unspecified threat to u.s. diplomatic posts overseas. so in response, the state department says it will shut down all embassies this sunday that would normally be open. now, that's mostly in the middle east and north africa, including the big ones in cairo, tel aviv, riyadh, saudi arabia, along with baghdad, kabul, kuwait city. dozens of embassies and consulates. a state department notice says, quote, it is possible we may have additional days of closings as well depending on our analysis. that will be a big challenge for the u.s. government deciding whether to extend the shutdown. because if it goes beyond sunday, as it appears it might, then it would affect american embassies in many countries throughout the world since they would all normally be open on monday. u.s. officials aren't saying much about the t
NBC
Aug 12, 2013 5:30pm PDT
entirely off the books. an idea that's starting to attract bipartisan support in congress. pete williams, nbc news, at the justice department. >>> tonight a federal judge has come down hard in one of the most controversial police tactics in the country. ordering changes to new york city's so-called stop and frisk policy. the judge said it unfairly targets large numbers of minorities stopped by police without any good reason to suspect them of a crime, but supporters say it's an important crime-fighting tool that has brought violent crime down to historic lows. nbc's stephanie gosk is in times square tonight for us with more. stephanie, good evening. >> reporter: good evening. crime continues to drop here in new york city, including here in times square. mayor bloomberg is saying the one of the keys to their success is their policy of stop and frisk. but what he calls good policing, other people are calling racial profiling, and those people today won a big legal victory. mayor michael bloomberg says the city of new york has become the poster child for fighting crime. >> today we have few
NBC
Aug 13, 2013 5:30pm PDT
for certain people to vote. we get our report tonight from our justice correspondent pete williams. >> reporter: alberta curry, who lives near fayetteville, has voted in every presidential election since 1956. >> that was something that i needed to do, for my children, my family, was to vote. >> but she doesn't have a birth certificate, and says it will be hard to comply with north carolina's tough new voter i.d. law. it was passed a month after the supreme court struck down the heart of the voting rights act, freeing the state from having to get federal permission before changing its voting laws. now the governor has signed it. >> protecting the integrity of every vote cast is among the most important duties i have as governor. >> reporter: the new law cuts early voting by a week, ends same day registration, and stops a program to let 17-year-olds preregister to vote. >> it is 57 pages of regressive, unconstitutional acts to rig and manipulate elections through voter suppression. >> reporter: civil rights groups say the changes hit minorities hard, because 70% of african-american
NBC
Aug 14, 2013 5:30pm PDT
in a way somewhat unusual for the sake of their family. here's nbc's justice correspondent pete williams. >> reporter: the long fall from grace for jesse jackson jr. ended at a federal courthouse half a mile from the u.s. capitol where he served 17 years as a congressman. >> i still believe in the power of forgiveness. i believe in the power of redemption. today i manned up and tried to accept responsibility for the errors of my ways. and i still believe in the resurrection. >> reporter: in court, he wept as he said, i want to apologize to my dad and mother, as they listened in the front row. his crime, stealing $750,000 from his congressional campaigns to buy himself a $43,000 gold-plated watch, fur coats, two mounted elk heads, flat-screen tvs and more during spending sprees. prosecutors asked for a sentence of four years calling it one of the biggest abuses ever of the campaign finance system. but judge amy berman jackson sentenced him to two and a half years in prison saying anything longer would have diminishing returns both for his future and in treating his recently diagnosed bipo
NBC
Aug 16, 2013 5:30pm PDT
on at a sprawling plot of land in the nevada desert known as area 51. nbc's pete williams has details of a secret that's inspired a lot of speculation. >> reporter: the movies have been on to it for decades, something weird in the nevada desert. >> take my word for it. there's no area 51. >> that's not entirely accurate. >> reporter: 8,000 square miles an hour and a half drive north of las vegas, once so secret that people who worked there, like radar and missile expert thornton barnes, could not tell their own wives. >> she had no idea where we were and thought we was in another country. >> the most highly classified data america holds. >> reporter: the movies were right about one thing. it was a super secret government testing site in a dry lake bed, its exact location long suspected and now revealed on this newly declassified government map, where the cia developed a cold war spy plane called the u-2. >> they obviously didn't want the soviet union to know about it, and to ensure that, they wanted a facility where it could be tested away from everybody else. >> reporter: but the need for test f
NBC
Aug 21, 2013 5:30pm PDT
, some of the language is a bit coarse. nbc's pete williams has more on the newly released nixon tapes, including a phone call from a supporter who would one day himself become president. >> reporter: in the spring of 1973, richard nixon is a president under siege, facing daily revelations about his administration's role in the watergate scandal. >> this office is a sacred trust. >> reporter: after the speech and apparently after a few drinks, nixon talked with his friend haldeman by phone, expletives undeleted. >> reporter: california's governor ronald reagan phones in to offer support. >> we're still behind you out here, and i wanted you to know that you're in our prayers. >> each of us has a different religion, you know. >> yeah. >> but damn it, ron, we have got to build peace in the world. how'd you ever marry such a pretty girl? my god. >> well, just -- i'm lucky. >> you're lucky? that's right. as i was lucky. >> reporter: a few days earlier nixon tells his spokesman ron ziegler that he had no role in the scandal. >> let me say we can have confidence that the president was not inv
NBC
Aug 22, 2013 5:30pm PDT
. edgar hoover speaks with our justice correspondent pete williams. >> reporter: robert mueller became fbi director a week before the september 11th terror attacks and doubled the number of agents assigned to terrorism. but some questioned the sting cases, people who have expressed only a desire to attack. >> i would ask a different question. how do you know when that person who harbors the intent to kill american citizens is going to move from harboring the intent to actually picking up a pistol and killing 13 people? >> i was looking at your picture in the lobby out here, and you have more gray hair now than you did when you became director. >> i'll also mention, so do you. >> all right, fair enough. >> reporter: he says it's been an intense 12 years and remembers the toughest times. >> the hardest days that you have are those when you lose an agent in the course of duty. >> reporter: and the moments of uncertainty, like the chaotic hours after the boston marathon bombing. >> the investigation had more twists and turns in that very short period of time than in many investigations. you we
NBC
Aug 23, 2013 5:30pm PDT
justice correspondent pete williams. >> reporter: las vegas officials say the plan to detain and kill police officers was hatched by two people who claim police lack the power to make arrests. authorities charged david allen brutsche, age 42 and devon campbell newman with attempted murder. >> these two individuals were extremists in their believes and were actively plotting to kidnap and kill at least one southern nevada police officer. >> reporter: investigators say the two planned to follow police on patrol when an officer made a traffic stop, the two would take the policeman away to a las vegas house where the officer would be tied up and ultimately killed. newman told reporter christine kim of nbc affiliate ksnv that she is not violent. >> i never intended to harm or kidnap anyone. >> reporter: though she said the police often act without authority. >> i feel that they are going far beyond what the constitution allows. >> reporter: police say the two were members of an extremist movement called sovereign citizens. it has about 100,000 followers nationwide who believe that most of
WETA
Aug 16, 2013 6:30pm EDT
in the nevada desert known as area 51. nbc's pete williams has details of a secret that's inspired a lot of speculation. >> reporter: the movies have been on to it for decades, something weird in the nevada desert. >> take my word for it. there's no area 51. >> that's not entirely accurate. >> reporter: 8,000 square miles an hour and a half drive north of las vegas, one so secret that people who work there, like radar and missile expert thornton barnes, could not tell their own wives. >> she had no idea where we were and thought we was in another country. >> reporter: the movies were right about one thing. it was a super secret government testing site in a dry lakebed, its exact locationing long suspected and now revealed on this newly declassified government map, where the cia developed a cold war spy plane called the u-2. >> we obviously didn't want the soviet union to know about it and to ensure that, they wanted aa facility where it could be tested away from everybody else. >> reporter: but the need for test flights soon caused a huge spike in reports of ufos. the declassified cia do
WETA
Aug 21, 2013 6:30pm EDT
released today. and i'll just tell you straight up, some of the language is a bit coarse. nbc's pete williams has more on the newly released nixon tapes, including a phone call from a supporter who would one day himself become president. >> reporter: in the spring of 1973, richard nixon is a president under siege facing daily revelations about his administration's role in the watergate scandal. >> this office is a sacred trust. >> reporter: after the speech and apparently after a few drinks, nixon talked with his friend haldeman by phone, expletives undeleted. >> reporter: kra's governor ronald reagan phones in to offer support. >> we're still behind you out here and i wanted you to know that you're in our prayers. >> each of us has a different religion, you know. >> yeah. >> but goddamnit, ron, we have got to build peace in the world. how'd you ever marry such a pretty girl. my god. >> well, just -- i'm lucky. >> you're lucky? that's right. as i was lucky. >> reporter: a few days earlier nixon tells his spokesman ron ziegler that he had no role in the scandal. >> let me say we can h
WETA
Aug 22, 2013 6:30pm EDT
, the longest serving fbi director since j. edgar hoover speaks with our justice correspond enent pete williams. >> reporter: robert mueller became fbi director a week before the 9/11 attacks. some question the sting cases, some people expressing only a desire to adak. >> i ask, when do you know when that person who harbors an intent to harming citizens to picking up a pistol and killing 13 people. >> i was looking at your picture in the lobby and you have more gray hair now than when you became director. >> i'll also mention, so do you. >> all right, fair enough. >> reporter: he says it's been an intense 12 years and remembers the toughest times. >> the hardest days that you have are those when you lose an agent in the course of duty. >> reporter: and the moments of uncertainty, like the chaotic hours after the boston marathon bombing. >> the investigation had more twists and turns in that very short period of time than in many investigations. you were up in the air in terms of whether you were doing the right thing, making the right decisions. >> reporter: as for threats, mueller says threats
WETA
Aug 23, 2013 6:30pm EDT
that will try them. moreonight from our justice correspondent pete williams. >> reporter: las vegas officials say the plan to detain and kill police officers was hatched by two people who claim police lack the power to make arrests. authorities charged david allen brutsche and devon campbell newman with attempted murder. >> they were extremist in their believes and plotting to kidnap and kill at least one southern nevada police officer. >> reporter: investigators say the two planned to follow police on patrol when an officer made a traffic stop the two would take the policeman to a las vegas house where the officer would be tied um and ultimately killed. newman told reporter kiss teen kim of ksnv that she is not violent. >> i never intended to harm or kidnap anyone. >> reporter: though she said the police often act without authority. >> i feel they are going far beyond what the constitution allows. >> reporter: police say the two were members of an extremist movement called somber citizens. it has 100,000 followers nationwide who believe what most of the government does is illegitimate. a rou
MSNBC
Aug 9, 2013 1:00pm PDT
peterson of lehigh university. welcome to all of you. i want to go right to pete williams on the nsa. pete, you heard the president lay out four changes that he wanted to make, reforming section 215 with new safeguards, greater transparency and also the creation of some kind of new independent body. your reaction to the president on the surveillance issue. >> right. what the president said is that he's willing to look at the issue of having an adversary before the foreign intelligence surveillance corps, one of the criticisms of it is that the only people who ever appear before these judges in secret are the government. nobody's there to argue against or say the government doesn't need this and shouldn't have it. the president has said he's willing to look at an adversary to represent in essence civil liberties interests. he didn't say he was committed to it. he said he was willing to consider it. apparently this is something the government is seriously considering doing. making more public information about how these programs work putting up a website to explain them and bringing in outsi
MSNBC
Aug 14, 2013 11:00am PDT
on personal items. meanwhile, his wife sandy jackson is also headed to prison. pete williams joins me now live from the court. pete, explain exactly -- >> reporter: before headed to prison, headed to the microphones right outside here, thomas. we'll hear from probably jesse jr. and his lawyer. his father jesse sr. is also here and was present during the day. here's his lawyer about to speak right now. control room, can i hear it, please? >> pete, i'm not sure we have the source of the audio right now. so bear with us while we try to get that up. you were saying that his lawyer is taking to the microphones first, correct? is sandy there as well? >> reporter: yes, they're all there. they were all in court. the judge today sentenced jesse jackson to 2 1/2 years in prison and his wife to a year in prison. now, that's less than the prosecutors had asked for. they asked for four years for jesse jackson and the maximum sentencing guidelines would have been four years and nine months. it's below both the sentencing guidelines and what the prosecution was asking for. 18 months was what the prosecution
MSNBC
Aug 12, 2013 12:00pm PDT
justice correspondent pete williams. and pete, i want to start with eric holder here and the changes that he's proposing. please give us the details of what he's advocating for in these changes. >> well, i think it's partly a reflection of the fact that the federal government, like the rest of the country, is facing a budget crisis here. they're trying to focus their efforts, he says, on the most serious crimes and the most dangerous offenders. he wants to tell federal prosecutors -- in fact, he sent a memo out today instructing them that when it comes to these lower-level offenders in drug cases -- now, he listed several of the factors there. no connection to organized crime, no extensive criminal history, low-level offenders, a couple others in the memo. there can't have been a gun in connection with their offense, and they can't have sold to children. if they meet all those criteria, what he tells the prosecutor is, when you write up the charges, don't write up the charge in a way that it would invoke a mandatory minimum. don't put in an amount of drugs involved, for example, that
MSNBC
Aug 5, 2013 10:00am PDT
where they are forced in to what feel like barracks. >> richard engel, that is spot-on. pete williams, for your late information. we have i think the best person to talk to about exactly that, because joining me now is former u.s. ambassador to iraq and the current dean of the joseph korbel school of international studies and the university of denver, chris hill. you've been through it all through the sarajevo terrorism and all over the world. you know better than anyone, diplomats don't like to work behind what feels like prison guard fence. >> that's absolutely correct. obviously these are very frustrating times because clearly there is some very real threat information but they don't know when, they don't know where and they don't even know how. so they're obviously erring on the side of caution, closing down a lot of these missions which is very disruptive, of course, to any embassy's ability to sort of get out and see what's going on in the country. and i think a lot of people are concerned, too, that it shows that the u.s. is in a hunkered-down position which is also not good fo
MSNBC
Aug 12, 2013 8:00am PDT
correspondent pete williams joining me from washington. break down what we expect the attorney general to announce. >> what you said, thomas. for those low level offenders not connected to some larger organization and not connected to a drug cartel or a gang, they are not part of an organized crime operation, they are on their own, they are carrying a small amount of drugs, what he is going to say to federal prosecutors is write the charges in a way that doesn't trigger the mandatory minimum sentences so that means they won't specify, for example, whether certain amount of drugs was there that would trigger the mandatory either five or ten-year prison sentence. part of the problem here, he says, that sthat this is a misdirection of sources. it's a harsh punishment for people who are not the big part of the problem. secondly he said it's contribute to go a massive overcrowding in u.s. prison systems. in the federal system, for example, prison growth has been about 800 percent in the last couple of years when you compare that to the growth in population of only about a third and 40% of u
MSNBC
Aug 12, 2013 1:00pm EDT
mayor bloomberg and get his reaction of the judge's ruling. we want to get to pete williams joining us from the news room. a judge made the ruling on the controversial stop and frisk tactics. what exactly was that ruling? what did we learn today? >> she's not ordered the city to stop doing the program. she ordered them to change how they do it. she said it's racially profiling the people they stop. the majority of the folks they stop are either latino or african-american. she says it's simply racial profiling. it's over representing people and you can't do that. it's not looking at suspicious paper, it's not random. it is profiling. she wants to look at the program to make sure the city makes changes, gather more data in selected precincts to wear body cameras when they do stop and frisks so courts can get a better idea of how it works. itis not a finding that the entire program is unconstitutional and the city has to stop it, it's instead an order to change it. peter, i would be surprised if the city doesn't appeal. >> give us a sense. what is the expected reaction aside from the appe
MSNBC
Aug 2, 2013 6:00am PDT
to be extra careful. >> joining me, nbc news justice and homeland security correspondent pete williams. pete, it seems they're making this broad shutdown. does that mean they don't have a specific threat or is this to keep their sources confidential? >> no, it means they don't know -- they know of the timing but they don't know the place. they don't know enough about it. although any is sort of a vague warning there's going to be some kind of attack on american compounds overseas. we're told this is in response to an al qaeda-related intelligence. from a middle eastern country. that was specific about the period of time. starting august 4th. but mentioning an unspecified threat to diplomatic posts overseas. so the state department says it's going to shut down all the embassies on this sunday that would normally be open. that's mostly the middle east, north africa, afghanistan, iraq, including the big ones, cairo, tel aviv, riyadh, saudi arabia, along with baghdad, kabul, kuwait city and so forth. dozens of cities. what's more, the state department says there may be additional days of closing
MSNBC
Aug 14, 2013 9:00am PDT
to nbc news justice correspondent, pete williams, pete? >> reporter: the judge has sentenced jesse jackson to 2 1/2 years in prison for stealing $750,000 from his campaign. that's well below the 4 years prosecutors asked for. well below the five years called for in sentencing guidelines. we have yet to hear the sentence for his wife. she'll be sentenced as well. she was seeking probation, alex. >> nbc's pete williams, thank you for the update. that's all for now. "andrea mitchell reports" is coming up next. >> announcer: brought to you by super 8. now with free breakfast and high speed internet. >>> i'm meteorologist bill karins with your business travel forecast. today, unlike yesterday, will be a great travel day throughout much of the country. the only travel problem spot could be the southeast. that front will hang up down here. we could see some afternoon showers and storms that could cause minor travel delays from dallas, new orleans, jacksonville, over here to atlanta. it won't be widespread. beautiful day from the great lakes to the northeast. enjoy. weigh you down? as soon
MSNBC
Aug 5, 2013 6:00am PDT
's justice correspondent pete williams. all right, pete, do we have new information from what we knew thursday and friday about this terror threat, from what we've learned over the weekend? >> well, yes, i think from members of congress, have been saying -- remember, they've been getting briefings on this. i must say, chuck, i think there's another factor at play here in addition to all the ones you mentioned about why the government is being so forthcoming about this. you may recall there was a lot of criticism after the bombing of twa flight 800 that the government was telling its people not to fly but not saying anything to the general traveling public. now the rule is if you're going to close embassies and warn diplomatic personnel, you have to share that with the rest of the public as well. remember, it's not just the u.s. that's taking this step. both the uk and france are closing their embassy in yemen through thursday. so what the u.s. is doing is closing 19 posts through this saturday. they say, by the way, that some of them would have been closed for several days of this wee
MSNBC
Aug 9, 2013 6:00pm PDT
, pete williams who has been poring over that document today. pete, thank you very much for being with us. >> sure. >> how much of the elephant has been unveiled? what do we know because of this document that we didn't know before? >> a lot about the legal rationale. some of the operational details. for example, they said, something that officials have been saying that the only metadata that's gathered is the numbers that are dialed, how long the call lasts, certain other networking information, but not, for example, the location from which the call is made. so if you're on a cell phone, the metadata doesn't include where you were. some other things included the fact that the way this works is you get a phone number from a suspected terrorist overseas, for example, then you go into the database to see what other numbers that person has called. but the document makes clear that the nsa is authorized under this law to go out what they call three hops. what that means is they can look at the phone numbers dialed by that phone number, then they can go out one ring and look at the numbers dial
CNBC
Aug 2, 2013 7:00pm EDT
terror attack in the northeast or north africa starting this weekend. nbc news' pete williams joins us now with all of the details. good evening, pete. >> u.s. officials say this in response to an al qaeda threat from yemen. some kind of unspecified plot to attack u.s. diplomatic posts overseas starting this sunday. in response, the state department ordered sunday closings for seven embassies and consulates in 17 foreign countries and there are reports and these are posts that would normally be open on sunday and that's the usual work day in the muslim world and they're mostly in the middle east and north africa. it is unclear at this point whether they would remain closed beyond sunday and the state department has also issued a world wide travel alert for americans who live or are traveling overseas and it urges them to be extra vigilant during the coming month and that's an indication of how long this threat window is for at least four weeks. they say that the plot may target not only u.s. diplomatic post, but other u.s. targets or western interests and officials aren't saying much a
CNBC
Aug 2, 2013 4:00pm EDT
's pete williams has more. pete. >> they're mentioning some unspecified plot to attack diplomatic sites on sunday. it turns out to be 23 embassies and consulates in 14 countries. what would normally be a workday in the muslim world. they're most le in the middle east and north africa. unclear whether they would remain closed beyond sunday at there's an alert for people traveling overseas. that's an indication that the period of time of this threat is at least four weeks and that the plot may target other u.s. interests overseas, not just diplomatic ones. you mention thad the first day of this august 4 is also president obama's birthday, also the inauguration day. officials tell us they don't think it's tied to either of those two things but may have some connection to the fact that the fasting called ramadan ends about this time of year, maria. >> pete williams, thank you very much. we'll come back to you with new news as it develops. >>> meanwhile george clooney has taken on the likes of people in his movie. in real life he's taken on hedge fund dan loeb. coming up. >>> former federal
MSNBC
Aug 13, 2013 11:00am PDT
. it limits early voting in the state and requires voters to show photo i.d. at the polls. pete williams joins me now live about this. certainly there's been a lot of backlash about what this north carolina law means and also how the governor is reacting to it. >> well, the governor did put out a ewe tube video. he said voter i.d.s are what most states now require, that you have to have an i.d. to board an airplane or even to buy antihistamines at the drugstore, so why not do it to make sure the election process is safe and fair and eliminates fraud, or at least reduces the chances for fraud. what this does -- i think one of the reasons it's attracted a lot of attention, thomas, is that in one single act, the legislature not only imposed one of the toughest voter i.d. requirements in the nation with a very limited range of photo i.d.s issued by the government that will be honored at the polls, but it also cut early voting back by a week to ten days from the earlier 17. it ended same-day registration at the polls, and it also ended a program in the state in which 17-year-olds could preregister
MSNBC
Aug 14, 2013 10:00am PDT
's justice correspondent pete williams just got out of the courtroom where the sentence has now been read. what is that sentence? is there a sentence yet for his wife sandra? >> reporter: just a few minutes ago the judge sentenced jesse jackson to 2 1/2 years in federal prison. that's well below 4 years the prosecution had asked them to impose and roughly below the 4 years 9 months that was the maximum within the sentencing guideline range. what the judge said is that keeping jackson in prison longer than 2 1/2 years would have diminishing returns given the expensive incarceration and the fact that she acknowledged that he does have bipolar disorder that needs treatment and therapy and that while the bureau of prisons could provide some of that, it probably wouldn't be as good as what he would get from his own doctor in more familiar settings. she also indicated that he has a potentially bright future ahead of him. after spending a long time talking about how serious his crimes were and what a disloyal service it was to his constituents and to contributors, she nonetheless said he has the
MSNBC
Aug 16, 2013 10:00am PDT
. nbc justice correspondent pete williams is joining us now to help give us a better understanding of this. this is a guy that carried a lot of sway where he was the only circuit judge around, wasn't he? >> reporter: right, a powerful figure in a small community using his authority to marshal the police and the courts against the husband of his secretary, a woman the judge wanted to marry. so these charges are filed against michael thornsberry, the only circuit judge for the past 16 years. in early 2008 he began an affair with his married secretary, one that she broke off a few months later. a federal grand jury says the judge tried to have her husband arrested by getting somebody to plant illegal drugs on his pickup truck, but that fell through. so the court documents say he persuaded a state trooper to falsely accuse the husband of stealing from his employer. those charges were later dismissed, but the indictment says the judge kept going, persuaded the state trooper to tell a grand jury that the husband was stealing at work. the judge kept up this campaign of intimidation agains
NBC
Aug 8, 2013 5:30pm PDT
who he really is. our justice correspondent pete williams is following this story from our washington newsroom. hello, pete. >> reporter: lester, at the center of all of this is a man in nevada who has had some lingering questions about who he really is, and now the fbi is trying to help find out. the trouble starts one april day in 1964. a baby boy, paul fronczak born to a chicago couple is snatched from a hospital by a woman disguised as a nurse. the crime sets off an intense search, national attention, urgent pleas from the parents. then 14 months later, a child is found abandoned in newark, new jersey. investigators conclude it's the missing boy based on the shape of his ears. but when he was 10 years old, the boy discovered a stash of newspaper clippings about the kidnapping and began to wonder, was he really that stolen child? he recently talked his parents into taking a dna test. result? no match. he was not their child. now age 49, he wants to know who is he. and whatever became of that stolen baby? first the fbi says it could not help because the case files were long lost, bu
NBC
Aug 6, 2013 5:00pm PDT
. this is sears. >>> new at 5:00, nbc news chief justice correspondent pete williams is reporting a libyan man, ahmed ca ta la is charged with playing a significant role in last year's attack on the u.s. dipietroic compound in benghazi. he's the first person known to be charged in connection with that attack which killed four people including piedmont high and uc berkeley grad ambassador chris stevenson. ca ta la has been described as the founder of a libyan extremist group. vegs are have said they believe he was at the u.s. consulate during the attack. u.s. authorities have identified about half a dozen other people also suspected of being involved in that attack. >>> at the same time the terror alert about a possible al qaeda attack has been ratcheted up another notch with the ordered that nonessential u.s. personnel be evacuated from yemen. the u.s. military flew out about 100 embassy staffers. meantime a u.s. military drone strike today killed four suspected terrorists in yemen. bay area's steve handelsman is live in washington, d.c. with the latest for us. good evening. >> jenelle, thanks
PBS
Aug 16, 2013 8:00pm PDT
on bloomberg news. pete williams of nbc news. and jeff zeleny of abc news. >> award winning reporting and analysis and covering heft as it happens live from our nation's capital this is "washington week." corporate funding for "washington week" is provided by -- >> we went out and asked people a simple question. how old is the oldest person you've known? we gave people a sticker and had them show us. we learned a lot of us have known someone who's lived well into their 90's. and that's a great thing. even though we're living longer one thing that hasn't changed is the official retirement age. the question is, how do you make sure you have the money you need to enjoy all of these years? additional funding for "washington week" is provided by the annenberg foundation, the corporation for public broadcasting and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. once again, live from washington, sitting in for gwen ifill this week amy wolter of the cook political report. amy: good evening. clashes continued today on the streets of cairo and other egyptian cities. betw
NBC
Aug 12, 2013 6:30pm EDT
correspondent pete williams has our report. >> reporter: natasha darington had no criminal record when arrested for herping her husband sell cocaine. she got mandatory sentence serving 11 years in prison away from her four children. >> i wasn't there to help them grow up. i missed their birthdays, high school congratulations, i missed the birth of my first grandchild. i missed the funerals of both of my parents. >> reporter: the attorney general today said too many americans get long prison sentences that don't fit the crime. >> -- out-sized unnecessarily large prison population, we need to ensure that incarceration is used to punish, to deter and to rehabilitate, but not merely to warehouse and to forget. >> reporter: the number of inmates in federal prisons, 219,000, is 8 time what's it was 30 years ago and 40% over capacity. nearly half of there for drug crimes and roughly one-fourth of them were low-level offenders. holder today directed federal prosecutors not to report the amount of drugs involved in an arrest if it would trigger mandatory minimums for non-violent offenders who have no ti
NBC
Aug 24, 2013 5:30am PDT
that renounces government. here is our justice correspondent, pete williams. >> reporter: the plan to detain and kill police officers was hatched by two people who claim police lack the power to make arrests. they charged david allen, 42, and devon campable, 67. >> they were plotting to kidnap and kill police officers. >> reporter: the two plans to follow police on patrol. when an officer made a traffic stop, they would take them a way to a house where the officer would be tied up and killed. she's not violent. >> i have never intended to harm of kidnap anyone. >> reporter: she said the police often act without authority. >> i feel they are going far beyond what the constitution allows. >> reporter: police say they were members of a movement called sovereign citizens with 100,000 citizens nationwide. they believe most of what the government does is illegitimate. the stop of a citizen became violent when a follower got out and started shooting. two officers were killed. >> they are so loopy, a small percentage cannot control themselves and they resort to violence against the police or local a
MSNBC
Aug 15, 2013 11:00am PDT
in new jersey. pete williams joins us from washington. what are the core issues in this case? >> reporter: this is an unusual one because the new jersey supreme court ruled in 2006 in a lawsuit over same-sex marriages that the state had to give the same-sex couples the legal benefits of marriage but it said it would leave it up to the legislature. the new jersey legislature said they will have civil unions in new jersey and they will provide all the benefits of marriage, it's just as good. the same-sex couples are saying they're not just as good for two reasons. first of all, there's still a different status that deprives them of the equal dignity of being married, but they say now that the u.s. supreme court has struck down the doma law, the defense of marriage act which now says that the federal government has to recognize same-sex marriages in the states where they're legal, civil unions in new jersey are very different. they don't provide all the benefits couples would argue because they don't get federal recognition. the state is saying, don't blame us. it's the federal government th
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